Tag Archives: Prime Focus

Blog: Making post deliverables simple and secure

By Morgan Swift

Post producers don’t have it easy. With an ever-increasing number of platforms for distribution and target languages to cater to, getting one’s content to the global market can be challenging to say the least. To top it all, given the current competitive landscape, producers are always under pressure to reduce costs and meet tight deadlines.

Having been in the creative services business for two decades, we’ve all seen it before — post coordinators and supervisors getting burnt out working late nights, often juggling multiple projects and being pushed to the breaking point. You can see it in their eyes. What adds to the stress is dealing with multiple vendors to get various kinds of post finishing work done — from color grading to master QC to localization.

Morgan Swift

Localization is not the least of these challenges. Different platforms specify different deliverables, including access services like closed captions (CC) and audio description (AD); along with as-broadcast scripts (ABS) and combined continuity spotting lists (CCSL). Each of these deliverables requires specialized teams and tools to execute. Needless to say, they also have a significant impact on the budget — usually at least tens of thousands of dollars (much more for a major release).

It is therefore extremely critical to plan post deliverables well in advance to ensure that you are in complete control of turnaround time (TAT), expected spend and potential cost saving opportunities. Let’s look at a few ways of streamlining the process of creating access services deliverables. To do this, we need to understand the various factors at play.

First of all, we need to consider the amount of effort involved in creating these deliverables. There is typically a lot of overlap, as deliverables like as-broadcast scripts and combined continuity spotting lists are often required for creating closed captions and audio description. This means that it is cheaper to combine the creation of all these deliverables instead of getting them done separately.

The second factor to think about is security. Given that pre-release content is extremely vulnerable to piracy, the days of getting an extra DVD with visible timecode for closed captions should be over. Even the days of sending a non-studio-approved link just to create the deliverables should be over.
Why? Because today, there exist tailor-made solutions that have been designed to facilitate secure localization operations. They enable easy creation of a folder that can be used to send and receive files securely, even by external vendors. One such solution is Clear Media ERP, which was built ground-up by Prime Focus Technologies in order to address these challenges.

There is no additional cost to send and receive videos or post deliverable files if you already have a system like this set up for a show. You can keep your pre-release content completely safe, leveraging the software’s advanced security features which include multi-factor authentication, Okta integration, bulk watermarking, burnt-in watermarks for downloads, secure script and document distribution and more.

With the right tech stack, you can get one beautifully organized and secure location to store all of your Access Services deliverables. Which means your team can finally sit back and focus on what matters the most — creating incredible content.


Morgan Swift  is director of account management at Prime Focus Technologies in Los Angeles.

Prime Focus Technologies to acquire DAX

Mumbai and Los Angeles — Prime Focus Technologies (PFT), the technology subsidiary of Prime Focus, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire DAX , a provider of cloud-based production workflow and media asset management applications to the entertainment industry for a base consideration of US$ 9.1 million in a uniquely structured performance linked transaction.

PFT through its US subsidiary will acquire all the assets of DAX for an upfront payment with balance payable over three years such that cash flows from the North American operations will support the payment.

Details include:
·         PFT secures ownership of  Emmy award-winning digital dailies solution
·         The PFT-DAX combination offers a dynamic stack of enterprise-class Media ERP solutions to broadcasters and studios
·         This accelerates PFT’s strategic expansion in North America and the vision to virtualize the content supply chain before, during and after the production phase
·         Patrick Macdonald-King (current CEO of DAX) to be president responsible for North America. All DAX related tech support, client services, product design and account management to remain in Los Angeles
·         Significant potential to monetize marquee customer base , which includes Warner Bros. Television Studios, CBS Television Studios, 20th Century Fox Television Studios, Relativity Media, Legendary Pictures, Fox Television Studios, A&E, Showtime, Starz Media and Lionsgate.

Ramki Sankaranarayanan CEO PFTsmall

PFT CEO Ramki Sankaranarayanan.

“Our vision is to build the best enterprise platform for production on the cloud by taking a fresh look at media workflows through the lens of a studio that wants to efficiently collaborate across divisions with its entertainment content before, during and after the production phase,” said Ramki Sankaranarayanan, founder and CEO, PFT. “Digital dailies is one of the first significant entry points to production on the cloud. PFT’s Clear Media ERP platform combined with DAX’s team and products will accelerate the realization of this vision.”

“PFT has tremendous resources at its disposal,” said Patrick Macdonald-King. “Beginning with its 250-person strong R&D and product development team dedicated to a single platform with rare media-centric IT skills. This marriage allows DAX to fulfill its vision and extends DAX’s support of file-based workflows across the enterprise. PFT’s arsenal of media-centric technology tools will drive the DAX product offering to a new level. For DAX customers, it’s important to note that all tech support, client services, product design and account management will remain in Los Angeles, but also expand to the PFT offices in New York and London to better service the East Coast and Europe.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the coming weeks. PFT and DAX will be exhibiting together at the upcoming NAB Show 2014, and will showcase a number of Clear and DAX product releases.

Main photo caption: DAX is used as a dailies solution on AMC’s Mad Men